What’s so Great about Alabama Freight? The Opportunities & History of Trucking in Alabama
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
From aerospace and automotive to technology and medicinal innovation, Alabama has become one of the top 5 business climates in the country. This growth in the industry didn't happen overnight in Alabama, it's been a work in progress. As the economy emerged from the worst recession since the Great Depression, the traditional supply chain began to migrate towards states with more accommodating environments and better work climates, that existed in the areas where production occurred over the last 100+ years - Alabama being one of them!
The Opportunities of Trucking in Alabama
A combination of labor force, incentives and plentiful land to develop and expand, all have led to what we see today in the merge of old industry manufacturing and new economy production. All major modes of transportation touch these industries - flatbed, van, reefer, inter-modal, power only and hotshot segments - all having opportunities to service the industries in and around the state. The major industry segments that are operating in Alabama are:
Metal and advanced materials
This is a huge positive for the trucking industry as the state is attractive for truck segments including the following, but not only limited to these:
Flatbeds touch all the major metals and building materials market. Alabama has one of the most diverse groups of manufacturing bases in the country, which is why the flatbed market is so successful. As a flatbed carrier in the state of Alabama, the diversification of industries and businesses allows carriers to shift equipment based on seasonal, cyclical, and any other sudden shifts in production due to fundamental economic changes.
The port of Mobile, AL is one of the fastest growing port systems in the country. With the expansion of the industry in Alabama, the Alabama Port Authority expansion of Mobile Port terminal was a natural step for the state to continue opening its doors for business.
Van Populations are increasing due to business opportunities being creating from the manufacturing and service sector expansion, which is correlating with the consumer good industry. Naturally, more people means more consumer consumption, and therefore the van sector benefits.
The History of Supply Chain Growth in Alabama - Why Alabama?
Globalization, combined with the catastrophic effects of the Great Recession, resulted in there being an abundance of supply domestically. Downward pressure was put on prices and profits were pinched due to foreign products flooding the markets and demand declining. As a result, there were significant financial losses with major corporations and small businesses throughout the country. Globally, cheap labor, lax environmental standards and state subsidization coupled with domestic fiscal/monetary policy that resulted in a housing crisis, led to the Great Recession. And this is what led to the migration of traditional industries south.
Alabama was one of the big benefactors of this migration. At a time when the U.S. dollar was artificially cheap, foreign manufacturers had a window of opportunity to move manufacturing to the U.S. to cut costs of shipping overseas. It all started with Mercedes Benz opening its first U.S. assembly plant in Alabama in 1993. Since then, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan and Kia have set up shop to manufacture and assemble cars in the state. Alabama is now a leader in this space which has resulted in the migration to people to the state.
Alabama continues to be an extremely attractive place to work, for those who realize it. The workforce in Alabama has stability and experience and it is "right to work", meaning there is a lack of unionized labor. Alabama also has incentives for workers like tax abatement, low cost land lease-purchase, low-interest loans and debt forgiveness if employments targets are met within specific time frames. All major transportation infrastructure (rail, truck,
port/barge, air) is supported within the state’s boundaries, thus creating
comparative advantage among other states that have similar industries.
Take a look at an interactive map of Alabama to see what markets are in each city and get an entire customer list of the state.
Click here to learn how you can take advantage of these opportunities and set your business up for success in a fast-growing Alabama freight economy!